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Evangelicals do not require members to be morally opposed to Deriding.
Proverbs 11:12 says, “Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.”(NIV) To deride someone is to express your contempt or ridicule. We see this behavior in public all the time in America. I am going to touch on what deriding is, how it plays a big role in our relationships and then prove that Evangelicals do not have the right attitude towards it. It is a sin to deride another human being and yet so many Evangelicals do not see it that way. When you tear into another human being you are treating them like they are garbage and do not deserve basic respect. Many times people will use the sins/weaknesses of others to deride them. Others will use political or moral views as excuses to deride people. A person might have negative views towards a group of people and express them. This is not a sin but a person might use that to deride someone. They would use the excuse that the person they are deriding is causing emotional pain by expressing views they feel are wrong so they have the right to deride them. They do not. The Bible is clear the Righteous despise the Wicked and the Wicked despise the Righteous. When we express that we despise different types of people that is not a sin. To despise a person directly is a sin. If one person expresses very poor opinions of homosexuals and another person expresses a poor opinion of those who are against homosexuality that is not deriding. When you ripe into a person with the views you hate is when the sin of deriding occurs. The church is supposed to be an institution that opposes deriding not promotes it.
Some people have worse tempers than others and are more likely to deride more often. We refer to people with stronger personalities as having type A personalities. I have a type B or more inverted personality. Many type B people pride themselves in the fact that they prefer a more civil discourse than others. This is really nothing to be proud about because it has more to do with the way we are wired than good self-control. I need to be careful when discussing deriding as a sin not to come off as sounding like I think I am better than people with stronger personalities. Some people deride more than others. Some people deride so much you get accustomed to being derided half the time you say anything. Even though being derided can hurt I still like most people have had really good friends who derided a lot. This is a sin that hits the vast majority of human beings. Deriding is a sin and to enter into the Kingdom of God one must see it that way.
Evangelicals often times deceive people by trying to make it look like their fellowships have proper Biblical fellowship requirements concerning deriding. They in fact do not. If you turn to an Evangelical radio station they will often times have a very kind and civil person on the airwaves leading a radio program. It is easy to see how many could mistake Evangelicals as a civil group of people. The Rev Jerry Falwell was a famous Evangelical derider. President Jimmy Carter complained about how badly he was derided by Jerry. He said Jerry derided him more than anyone. When Bill Clinton became President Jerry derided him constantly for being a cheater, liar and murderer. Jerry used Bill’s sins as an excuse to rip into him. Jerry was considered above reproach. This is of course crazy. It shows one how far the ideal Evangelical man is from the ideal Christian man in the Bible.
In today’s entertainment we see deriding everywhere. There are many TV shows that promote deriding from reality shows to the news. Many journalists on Fox News deride people who do not share their opinions on politics. People deride to rule by fear. Many in the Evangelical church are openly fans of the behavior that takes place on Fox News. The Evangelical Church will not reject anyone based the wrong attitude towards deriding. They would lose too many members. Liberty University has honored many people who deride openly and unrestrained on the public airwaves. Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have given speeches at Liberty during graduation. I have even heard Sean Hannity complain about people deriding him and others for being against homosexuality. Poor Sean! Let me be clear when I mention names like Jerry Falwell, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity I am not condemning them for sinning or sinning too much. I am not judging them in a sinful way. I am saying that their attitude towards sin/deriding should keep them out of the Bible believing church if it is run properly. Not doing so would be disobeying God’s rules for the church. Evangelicals would not allow someone to promote pornography or intoxication by engaging in it and then proclaiming it is acceptable with God. The same should be true of sins relating to greed and temper/deriding but it does not happen. So Evangelicals have created their own religion that is separate from the Word of God just like the religious leaders of Jesus time had done. When you have millions of followers you gain political clout. Evangelicals leaders today are often praised by non-believers for “walking the walk” when they really are not living the Christian life at all. This is because they have a large number of supporters.
In 1992 when I first started to attend Evangelical Churches after I became a Christian I observed that the members were really no different than the world in their attitudes towards temperament sins. Most of the deriding I saw was not related to politics or religion. In speaking to many Evangelicals I have found some that are disgusted by the high amount of incivility that appears to be coming from other professing believers. Many people don’t notice incivility it unless the incivility is directed towards them. Their friends can deride others all day long and they don’t seem to notice because it isn’t directed at them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- A good example of this is believe it or not James Carville. His name has come up several times when I mention incivility in politics. The people who brought up his name were white-collar republicans and not part of the base or religious right so they would not watch Fox News or MSNBC and see all the drama I often speak of. For some reason people seem to remember James’s behavior from years ago. The 1992 election was the first election I paid attention to. I barely remember on a couple of occasions James acted in a way I thought was not allowed in Presidential politics. I cannot remember anything he said during that period. Later on James would mellow out and become “Sunday Morning James” and behave in a civil manner much more than he had. He is just like “Morning Joe” who derided those who thought the war in Iraq was going bad on his first talk show and then mellowed out going forward. Just sharing something weird I learned while discussing civility with others. It shows that some people only notice incivility when it is directed at them or others who think like them. But also some appear to deride often before they break into major political power figure positions and then mellow out some.
It is important when understanding incivility to know the difference between true incivility and what is known as 9 to 5 incivility. Real incivility is where the people doing the deriding want to inflict real emotional pain on others or could care less if they do in achieving their goals. 9 to 5 incivility is where deriding might occur but it is just for political show or does not represent permanent feelings that last beyond the argument. In other words the 2 people who were ripping into each other are friends after they fight. Many politicians and religious leaders will claim they have suffered attacks for their Christian stance on issues. These people are often times in it for themselves. They almost all become millionaires in the future. Most congressmen become millionaires and religious leaders can go into lobbying or write books that get free advertising in Evangelical Churches. There are people in this world who take real abuse working for justice and there are those who act like they have suffered for the truth while their real intention was power and money.
After years of seeing incivility supported in the Evangelical Church I thought Evangelicals would never address the issue directly because they would have to do something about it. Greedy Evangelical Leaders could increase their power and popularity by allowing incivility take place and they did just that. Rick Warren in 2008 came out against all the incivility in America. Let me be clear I had already made the judgment that Evangelical leaders were greedy long before I knew who Rick Warren was. I do not want to come off as judging him. Right after I heard Rick basically making the claim that deriding was unchristian and that there was way too much of it occurring I Googled Rick and the Rev Jerry Falwell and found a picture of them together posing for the picture while both where smiling. Rick has enabled people in the Church who proudly deride to continue in their wickedness. How can this be he came out against Jerry’s behavior? Yes Rick mentioned that deriding is not Godly behavior. Many in the church are type A personalities who deride without ever repenting. They are well aware many people including others in the Church view their behavior as less than positive. Compare it too drinking too much alcohol. Many people don’t drink at all or drink very little. Most of them pride themselves in this fact. They might have really good friends who do get intoxicated and have no issue with it. It is the same thing with those who don’t deride very much. They pride themselves in taking the high ground when discussing issues. They too have good friends who deride and see it as justified. After all those who deride see other people as causing them to act out that way. The problem arises when members of the Evangelical Churches don’t deride very much like Rick and have friends inside the Evangelical Church who do and have no moral issue with it like Jerry Falwell. This enables people in the church to deride and think it is ok. Compare that to my example of intoxication and you see Evangelicals do not have a lot of friends in the church who both get intoxicated and think it is ok. That is the way it should be with deriding. In the case of deriding like greed the standards are not there in the Evangelical Church. There are many deriders in the church so when people like Rick speak out against deriding it goes in one ear and out the other. The people who deride in the church hardly ever see people like themselves change their lives or even their hearts. So there is no pressure for them to stop deriding even when people preach something negative concerning deriding. Deriders who think it is ok need to be removed from the church with the hope someday day they will repent. They are not going to get the message from what Rick Warren says when 2 seconds later Rick is treating members who deride as if they have it all together as if have nothing to work on. What Rick did made others in the Evangelical Church that do not deride much feel represented. When people see Evangelicals being uncivil other Evangelicals can say we do not all believe in that type of conduct. But that is where the serious problem is. People should view all Christians as being against deriding. If I where a derider in the church I would not feel threatened by those, like Rick, in the church who say something negative about deriding because it will never be enforced and because people who deride probably have plenty of good friends in the church who are like Rick when it comes to deriding. That is deriding is not the best behavior but is no big deal. There are millions of people in this country who deride and do not have a moral issue with it. So why doesn’t Rick Warren or the Evangelical Church have any of these people giving testimonies about how they had a change of heart towards deriding? It is because there are very few Christians in the world and sins like deriding show that. Millions have lived differently during different periods of their lives when intoxication and sex are concerned. Not many change when it comes to deriding and greed. So just like with greed as far as temper goes Evangelicals are also leading people to hell. We need to put leaders on the spot and confirm if deriding is a sin a person should be against to have fellowship. The Bible says what people officially teach in the church is judged more harshly by God.